Resilience Budget: 3 Crucial Theological Lessons We Should Note
In view of the Covid-19 situation, the Singapore government has just announced today the Resilience Budget as the supplementary budget to help Singaporeans tide through the current crisis. This is introduced as so much has been disrupted, including our church services which have to go online now.
As I read the measures that support the businesses and individuals, I can’t help but to realise that there are important theological lessons we can note from what the Singapore government is doing.
The Resilience Budget is a good lesson to prepare for the stormy days
During the speech that introduced the resilience budget, a statement was made – that the national reserve were accumulated for “rainy days.” The principle behind this is that we need to prepare for a day when times get tough.
For Christians, when we look back at our lives, we find that this is an important theological lesson. Not that we are supposed to save for rainy day financially, but more on what we are doing to become resilient in our faith during peace time. Do we build ourselves up in the faith, study the Word and get our positions right before things struck? This means that during the peace time, we need to learn who God really is and what God really desires for us. It is as what Paul exhorted Timothy, to watch our lives and doctrine closely (1 Tim 4:16).
This will play out in crucial moments. For example, my wife always ask me hard questions about what I will do if pregnancies go very wrong – like foetus having chromosome issues etc. This is ethics in action, but played out during peace time. This becomes a time for us to think through our responses which will honor God. At the heart of it, what we are doing is really to get our theologies right before the thing really happens.
The Resilience Budget tells us that what is popular may not be what is sustainable
As I reflect on how the Singapore government tapped into the national reserve for the resilience budget, I remember how there are other parties in Singapore which advocated tapping into reserves during peace time. They may have some point in what they advocate for. However, the Covid-19 situation showed that there is a reason why we save. If we have tapped into the saving to do what is popular, then we might not be able to sustain our own economy during this period. The budget would have been difficult for the government to pull off.
Thinking back, isn’t this similar to us in the church? As a church leader, I sometimes see people vying for church resources for various initiatives, for various reasons. Some may seem popular to a crucial crowd, and some may seem to turn people off from church. Some may want to hear certain messages and reject other crucial messages that the church ought to preach and proclaim. Again, as Paul has said, there will be a time when people will only want to hear what they want to hear with their itching ear (2 Tim 4:3).
Hence, the lesson for us as the church is this: are we ready to be unpopular and do what is right, rather than doing what is popular which may yield its bad fruits in the future?
The Resilience Budget informs us that God may use times like this to mold us
The resilience budget also introduced a number of measures, which helps a wide variety of people during this season, including freelancers, businesses, people who were retrenched etc. From a Christian perspective, this is God’s provision to these affected groups of people.
I remember that the last time the government tapped into the national reserve was during the Great Financial Crisis when I graduated. I ended up without a job for a good half of 2009. The whole experience helped me to realise the value of community and also to learn how to trust God during this period of time.
I think for those affected people, especially those who are in Christ, this is a good lesson on how we can trust God, which is really the most difficult thing during difficult times. The tendency is for us to look inward and try to settle things ourselves. But for those who have been persevering since the start of the Covid-19 situation, I can so imagine that the measures are God-send. And how it would help us to see God’s grace in the whole situation.
So these are times, tough times. But can we see how God is molding us during this tough season?
So how has the whole Covid-19 taught you about who God really is? Share your comment and I will be sure to reply your comments.